Cameron Menzies and Aileen de Graaf ended the title reigns of Wayne Warren and Mikuru Suzuki on an evening that saw the quarter-final line-ups confirmed in the Men’s and Women’s WDF World Championships at Lakeside.
The opening set of Menzies’ game with Warren set the tone for rest of the game, Warren missing countless doubles and his Scottish opponent swooping in to capitalise.
Warren spurned 15 shots at a double in the first two legs alone as Menzies netted an early break. Although ‘Yank’ then held throw with an 18-dart leg, it was the Scot who took the set with a 13-darter.
A 12-darter gave Warren an ideal start to the second set but the doubles were his undoing once again, the 2020 World Champion missing seven darts to make it 2-2 before Menzies hit tops to win it 3-1.
The third set went all the way with every leg going against the throw, Menzies sealing a straight-sets victory with another 14-darter. The Welshman finished with just an 11.1% success rate on the doubles. The Scot, meanwhile, who averaged 87.35, will face the WDF No.1 James Hurrell in the quarters tomorrow.
Aileen de Graaf is now one game away from her third World Championship semi-final after coming from behind to defeat two-time champion Mikuru Suzuki 2-1.
Japanese ace Suzuki began the game well, scoring strongly and taking the first set 3-1 fairly comfortably. The break after that set seemed to affect her, though, as she didn’t win another leg.
For her part, de Graaf’s scoring improved considerably and she was the more clinical player on the doubles as she won sets two and three 3-0. The former World Master will face Beau Greaves in the quarter-finals tomorrow afternoon.
Andy Baetens showed himself to be a real contender for this year’s World Championship in his Last 16 meeting with Scott Marsh, throwing seven maximums and recording a 102.79 average, the third highest in Lakeside history, in a dominant 3-0 victory.
Marsh won the opening leg of the match on throw before Baetens won five on the spin to wrap up the first set and build a 2-0 lead in the second.
The Englishman drew level in the second set with a sensational 121 finish but he couldn’t level it in terms of sets, Baetens taking out 69 for another 14-darter. The third was a relative breeze for ‘The Beast’, winning it 3-0 in 40 darts to wrap up a straight-sets victory.
Marsh did nothing wrong, producing the highest losing average of the tournament, but he just couldn’t keep up with the relentless power scoring and clinical finishing of the Belgian.
Baetens’ opponent in the quarter-finals will be France’s Thibault Tricole, who also impressed as he ended Steve Hine’s World Championship campaign with a 3-1 win.
Hine hadn’t dropped a set in his opening two wins over Kevin Luke and Leonard Gates and began this tie in similar fashion, starting the match with a 109 out before wrapping up the opener 3-2 with a 70 checkout on double 16.
He couldn’t continue that streak in the second, though, Tricole taking out 116 en route to winning it 3-0.
The Frenchman extended his lead by winning a high-class third set 3-1, producing finishes of 120 and 104 in response to a sensational 142 from Hine.
Hine had chances to win the fourth, breaking the Tricole throw in the third leg before wiring darts at a double in the next two legs. ‘The French Touch’ capitalised, taking the two in a combined 34 darts to seal a 3-1 victory.
Cameron Menzies 3-0 Wayne Warren
Aileen de Graaf 2-1 Mikuru Suzuki
Thibault Tricole 3-1 Steve Hine
Andy Baetens 3-0 Scott Marsh
Photo Credit: Chris Sargeant/Tip Top Pics